Garrisoned by whom?

A small force of Genoan mercenaries who know damn well that nothing good will happen to them if they surrender to their hated and long suffering subjects?

Not saying that it couldn't happen, just that it would probably take a force bigger than a few dozen guerillas. (More like what d'Ornano has)
A small force of Genoan mercenaries who know damn well that nothing good will happen to them if they surrender to their hated and long suffering subjects?

Not saying that it couldn't happen, just that it would probably take a force bigger than a few dozen guerillas. (More like what d'Ornano has)
As for D'ormano, I'd wager he doesn't want to show his hands this early.
As for D'ormano, I'd wager he doesn't want to show his hands this early.

What hand does he have? The flop came and he missed a royal flush by a small margin - his patron is gone, any assets he may have had off fighting for dear life to keep his wife on the Throne and potentially secure his election. I would argue, on the contrary, with all these other people coming back his time to move and secure his "regency" is now - and what's a better way to do that than by with cannon and the former Royal stronghold?
The Best Laid Plans
The Best Laid Plans


Genoese regulars and militia. On the left, Corsican filogenovesi militia with their peaked caps and a Greek militiaman with his traditional vest and fustanella. In the center, Genoese garrison militiamen. On the right, Oltremontani soldiers and officers.

In such circumstances we must aim at utilizing the greater strength of the troops in guarding the heart of the Kingdom, from where all evil descends, in order to cause fear among the neighboring peoples and support parties sympathetic to the Republic; otherwise the greater will be their united forces, and they will feel themselves at liberty to be insolent.

- Domenico Maria Spinola to the Senate of Genoa, September 1741

The Genoese had been surprised by the abruptness of the Austrian evacuation, but they were not entirely unprepared. Since the first suggestions of withdrawal by the French in the autumn of 1740, the Deputation of Corsica - the special executive body of the Genoese government formed in 1731 to direct the republic’s strategy against the rebellion - and Commissioner-General Domenico Maria Spinola had been busily debating and planning a course of action for the day when Corsica was finally returned to the sovereignty of the republic.

By the summer of 1741, the Genoese regular army stood at about 5,770 soldiers. On the surface this was not much different from the approximately five thousand men fielded by the regular army prior to the rebellion, but the long war had forced major structural changes to the army. Corsica, once a prime recruiting ground for the Genoese army, had been rendered almost useless for that purpose as a consequence of the uprising. Furthermore, the war had made it starkly clear that the army was organizationally obsolete; the practice of every company being an independent outfit, which had been scrapped on the continent generations ago in favor of a system of battalions and regiments, still endured in Genoa. Only in 1738 was a major reform pushed through the senate to reorganize the army on the basis of national battalions.

By 1740 there were ten such battalions, organized by the nationality of their troops: Six Italian, two Corsican, one German (or “Oltremontani”), and one Grison (“Grigioni”). Owing to the terms of pre-existing “capitulations,” or mercenary contracts, not all units were affected by the reforms. The Grison battalion was an amalgamation of the four Grison companies hired some years back and was really a “battalion” in name only. There were also three “elite” companies that retained their independence for the same reason - the German Palace Guard, the San Tommaso German company (named for one of the gates of the city), and the Fribourg Swiss company. None of these independent companies saw service in Corsica. Italian and Corsican battalions had a paper strength of 500 men and officers, composed of four companies of 108 fusiliers and a detached grenadier company of 60 men. The German and Grison battalions had their own structure, with around 600 and 800 men respectively.

By an ordinance of 1738, five of these ten battalions were to be permanently stationed in Corsica. As the Corsican battalions were considered ineligible for this service, the duty fell to the Italian battalions of colonels Pietro Paolo Crettler, Patrizio Geraldini, and Gio Tommaso Varenne, the German battalion of Federico Andergossen, and the Grison battalion of Rodolfo Antonio Jost.[1][A] In August of 1741, as a response to the sudden withdrawal of more than half of the Austrian contingent, half of the battalion of Colonel Luca Ottavio Restori was also sent to Corsica. In total, the Genoese regular forces on the island by the time of the final withdrawal of French and Austrian forces in September amounted to at least 3,000 men, just under half of whom were foreigners.

For the Republic, this was a considerable force representing a majority of the entire regular army. Yet the French had deployed nearly 10,000 men to Corsica, and even then required several years to pacify the country. Proposals to move more Genoese regulars to Corsica were strongly opposed by the republic’s military and civilian leaders, who warned that the Ligurian fortresses and the garrison of Genoa itself were dangerously undermanned already. The republic was always worried about the aggressive ambitions of its neighbor Sardinia, and the need for adequate forces in Liguria became even greater after the landing of Spanish forces in Italy in November of 1741, as it became clear that the “Silesian War” was to be continental scope and might draw Genoa in as well.

Spinola, seeking to do the best he could with limited resources, proposed to selectively occupy the island based on economic and strategic value. The great coastal bastions - Bastia, Calvi, Ajaccio, and Bonifacio - would of course have to be garrisoned. The rich provinces of the Balagna and the Nebbio were crucial, but were also considered less restive than the interior and could get away with fewer regular troops. In the interior, Genoese troops would be concentrated almost entirely in the Castagniccia and the Golo valley. This portion of the interior Diqua was the most populous, the most economically valuable, and potentially the most troublesome, being the heart of the original rebellion. Accordingly, of the four “provinces” of Corsica, Bastia (whose province included the Castagniccia) would have the largest complement of soldiers, while the other provinces would simply have to make do with less. The cuts were particularly deep in the Dila, which had fewer people and less economic value than the north, and was also more geographically difficult to control with a few centrally located garrisons. The commissioner of Ajaccio, Bernardo Soprani, protested bitterly, and sent a long letter to Spinola and the Deputation detailing how the skeleton garrison he had been assigned would be wholly unable to control the province and to maintain overland routes of communication and supply into the north. He was not wrong, but the math was merciless - the soldiers were too few, the money was too tight, and the relative importance of the north was too great.

By the time of the final withdrawal, the situation on the ground was roughly as follows:

Bastia: Andergossen, Crettler, Jost (2 coys), Restori (2 coys) = 1,750 men
Calvi: Geraldini = 500 men
Ajaccio: Varenne (3 coys and grenadiers), Jost (1 coy) = 600 men
Bonifacio: Varenne (1 coy), Jost (1 coy) = 300 men​

The paucity of soldiers in the south was sobering. 320 regulars were allotted to the garrison of Ajaccio itself, leaving only around 280 for the rest of the western Dila. Bonifacio was held by 160 regulars, with another 60 in Sartena (the only garrisoned post in the inland Dila), 60 spread amongst four coastal towers in the region, and a mere 20 soldiers to hold Porto Vecchio.

Further complicating matters was the propensity of Genoese soldiers, even regulars, to desert. Conditions for Genoese soldiers on Corsica were poor; a French officer reported that one such garrison was lacking nearly everything, with worn shoes, uniforms in an “ungodly” condition, and poorly-maintained muskets with worn-down flints and missing bayonets. Crettler’s battalion was described in late 1741 as “nearly naked” thanks to the corruption of government contractors, who had outfitted the unit with uniforms of thin and inferior fabric that were tattered and threadbare in less than a year. For soldiers stationed in the interior, the rugged terrain made desertion especially easy. (Coastal posts suffered less from this problem, but were haunted by malaria instead.) Desertion was made much worse, however, by the French. French recruiters not only turned a blind eye to the enlistment of Genoese deserters but actively solicited them to desert, offering recruitment bonuses and promising better conditions. Brigadier Villemur, who took command of the French forces after Marshal Lautrec’s departure, was under instructions to fill out the new Regiment Royal-Corse, and neither he nor his superiors cared very much if a substantial number of the “Corsicans” in the battalion were actually Genoese, German, or Grison deserters. Although precise numbers of Genoese losses to desertion are unknown, the complaint of Colonel Jost is typical, who informed Spinola in early September that over the past two months the garrison of Morosaglia had lost 20% of its strength to desertion alone.

Spinola’s forces were not limited to regular units. Other quasi-regular units assisted in garrison duties, notably the Greek company of Ajaccio, small companies of Genoese citizen-militia at Calvi and Bonifacio, and the “dragoons of Bastia,” actually a few dozen mounted militiamen who served as a gendarmerie. The irregular filogenovesi companies that the republic had once depended on, however, had been almost entirely disbanded during the French occupation for reasons of economy. In January of 1741 there were only 82 Corsican militiamen on the state’s payroll, most of whom were part of the anti-guerrilla “flying squadron” of Major Domenico de Franceschi,[2] which had been chasing Johann Friedrich von Neuhoff zu Rauchenburg and other “bandits” for much of the year.

The question of whether more should be raised was a bitterly contentious one. Filogenovesi militiamen were readily available and cheaper to maintain than regulars, but they were also ill-disciplined and of questionable military value. The Genoese had found that the republic’s “partisans” on Corsica were always more willing to accept payment than to actually fight; keeping a militia company on the government’s payroll was (usually) a good way to ensure the loyalty of the company’s hometown, but it seldom actually resulted in the creation of dependable forces that the government could use in military operations. Additionally, understanding the difficulty of his military position and thus the necessity of preventing rebellion in the first place, Spinola feared with good reason that armed republican irregulars would be motivated by vengeance and petty feuds to harass former “royalists” and thus stir up rebellious sentiment.

With this rather bleak military situation, it should come as no surprise that the matter which the Deputation and Spinola considered most critical for maintaining control on the island, more important than any military strategy or infantry battalion, was Il Regolamento - “the Regulation,” meaning the body of law by which the Corsicans would be ruled. The government of Genoa had promulgated two previous Regulations, in 1733 and in 1738, each of which had obviously failed to gain the support of the Corsican people. Clearly the new Regulation would have to go further in terms of the reforms it offered if it had any hope of keeping the peace. How much reform was needed to achieve that end, however, was a subject of much debate.

Unlike the French, the Genoese could not afford to simply turn the island in to a tax-free zone and send the bill for their occupying forces to someone else. A report by the Deputation in the spring of 1741 concluded that the cost of the rebellion to the Genoese state since 1730 was a staggering 20 million lire, which at present troop levels would increase by at least 800,000 lire every year.[3] To the government, which was already carrying a heavy debt burden, this was plainly unsustainable. The Senate accepted that much of this cost was “extraordinary” and an unavoidable burden upon the public debt, at least until Corsica was safe enough to allow the reduction of the occupation forces to pre-rebellion levels (assumed to be around 500 regular soldiers). They insisted, however, that the new Regulation provide enough revenue to pay for the “ordinary” upkeep of the island, which is to say that the island ought to cover the costs of its own administrative, judicial, and military apparatus. From a Genoese perspective, this was eminently sensible - it was natural that a state should pay for its own government.

In August of 1741, a proposal was drawn up by the Deputation in consultation with other organs of the Genoese government. This was not so much a draft Regulation as a framework for further negotiations, both within the Genoese government and with the Corsicans themselves, and thus demonstrated how far the Deputation believed the state ought to be able to compromise to achieve its ends. The proposal was essentially a recognition that the government needed to be prepared to turn the clock back to the fateful year of 1715, when Genoa had passed laws to disarm the Corsicans and introduced the hated due seini capitation to recoup the expected shortfall from the loss of revenue from sales of arms licenses. The Deputation endorsed the possibility of reducing the tax burden to pre-1715 levels and restoring the right of the Corsicans to bear arms, along with other proposed liberties and reforms. The next step was to see if such proposals would pass muster with the Corsicans themselves. To this end, the Deputation decided to reconvene the Council of Twelve, the advisory body of Corsican “nobles” which had been in de facto abeyance since around 1730, when Simone Fabiani - himself a member - had denounced the council and called for a boycott of the elections. New elections for this body were planned for March of 1742.

In the meantime, Spinola moved to execute his security plan. Two wrinkles yet remained, and they had names: Gianpietro Gaffori and Luca d’Ornano.

Aside, perhaps, from the Genoese themselves, nobody was less happy about the Austrian withdrawal than Marquis Luca d’Ornano, the self-appointed Regent of Corsica. The patronage of Grand Duke Franz Stefan had made d’Ornano the most powerful Corsican on the island. With the Grand Duke’s political and financial support, he had been able to carve out and sustain an independent fiefdom in the south, retain a considerable arsenal while the rest of occupied Corsica was pressured to disarm, and attract a large armed following thanks to his position as a colonel in Tuscan service and the patronage he was able to dispense by way of his considerable stipend. The outbreak of war, however, had focused Franz Stefan’s attention elsewhere. Now that he was leading an army in Bohemia, the Grand Duke no longer had much time to spare for Corsican intrigues, and with the dire financial troubles of his wife Maria Theresa, the Queen of Hungary, it no longer made much sense to be paying the salary of an absentee colonel in Corsica. D’Ornano had been pressured into allowing most of the “Regiment d’Ornano” to be transferred to Tuscany, as it was not diplomatically feasible for them to remain in Genoese territory indefinitely, and he had been led to believe that this force would be the nucleus of a Tuscan-Austrian takeover of Corsica to d’Ornano’s substantial benefit. As a result, however, he now found himself without his regiment and with his own salary in arrears. His power was certainly not broken; he retained considerable influence and his old network of clients, as well as a stash of arms, ammunition, and even artillery. He was still formally a Tuscan colonel, albeit an unpaid one, and claimed the regency of the Kingdom of Corsica. The King of Prussia, however, had ruined his plans to ride Franz Stefan’s coattails to glory.

Marquis Gianpietro Gaffori’s position was much weaker, but his real estate was far more valuable. His collaboration with the French and Austrians had allowed him to remain in place at Corti, officially in a civilian capacity as the town’s podesta, and the occupying forces had respected his demands to prohibit Genoese troops from occupying the town. Thus, while Spinola had been able to phase in his garrisons throughout the Castagniccia over the course of the French withdrawal, Corti was left solely in Gaffori’s hands when the Austrians abruptly evacuated in September. The Genoese, for good reason, considered Corti to be the lynchpin of the Corsican interior: it was not only the strongest fortress in inland Corsica, but its position near the confluence of the Golo and Tavignano valleys gave it an unparalleled strategic importance. Spinola’s plan called for a strong occupation force at Corti, arguing that without it the Castagniccia could not be made secure. Gaffori’s control of the town and its citadel, as well as what remained of the arsenal, appeared to give him a significant bargaining chip. His “forces,” however, were weak - as a civilian administrator he had retained no large armed following as d’Ornano had, and could count on no more than the militia of the town, whose citizens respected Gaffori but were not necessarily willing to forfeit peace and amnesty to protect the independence of the podesta.

Spinola, eager to preserve peace, sought to co-opt these men. In early September, just weeks before the final withdrawal of French and Austrian forces, the commissioner-general had invited both of them to a consultation at Bastia. Both refused the summons, claiming that they had insufficient assurances of Genoese good will. While Spinola could wait for d’Ornano to come around, however, he needed Corti, and when he learned of the Austrian withdrawal from the town he felt he had no choice but to occupy it whether Gaffori trusted his “good will” or not. On the 23rd of September, four days after the Austrian withdrawal, Spinola ordered Colonel Andergossen to assemble 700 men and take command of Corti - peacefully if possible, and by force if not.

Spinola had good reasons to hurry. In mid-September, before the Austrians were even gone, Matthias von Drost had returned from Livorno in a felucca and landed south of Fiumorbo with a handful of followers and 200 muskets. (The withdrawal of French forces from Corsica had also meant the withdrawal of the French naval squadron, and correspondingly the weakening of the blockade.) He quickly moved inland to Alta Rocca and Zicavo, preaching resistance, distributing arms and ammunition to royalist sympathizers, and bearing a letter he had received from Theodore promising his return and detailing (in a typically optimistic and exaggerated fashion) his imminent success in gaining the support of Britain. Drost was followed not long thereafter by dozens of exiles, which in the Dila included Lieutenant-General Michele Durazzo and the Lusinchi brothers. Despite their history, they were not necessarily eager to start a new rebellion; peace and amnesty had their attractions, and many were skeptical of Theodore’s promises from afar. There was no harm in being prepared, however, and the paucity of Genoese forces in the south meant that the mountain communities of the Dila could gather arms, organize men, and stockpile supplies without fear of Genoese intervention. If indeed Gaffori was contemplating rebellion, Spinola had no desire to allow him reinforce his position at Corti in a similar manner.


Outer fortress walls of Corti, looking north

Aware of the weakness of his position, Gaffori responded receptively to Spinola’s subsequent appeals. He stated that he was prepared to hand over Corti without a fuss so long as he and the other citizens were not harassed or subject to seizures or confiscations for the benefit of the garrison. When Andergossen approached the town on the 29th - he had been slightly delayed by the need to gather some forces from Calvi province - Gaffori rode out to meet him personally along with his wife Faustina Matra and one of his lieutenants, Captain Giannettini. In a letter to Spinola, Andergossen described Gaffori as “gracious” and the people of Corti as having a “good disposition.” Andergossen even offered Gaffori a job, as his garrison had no surgeon and Gaffori was a Genoese-educated physician.

Andergossen was not worried about any internal unrest; he feared external attack. Finding the state of the town’s defenses to be lamentable, he conferred with his engineer, Captain Medoni, and with him developed a plan to create a secure perimeter enclosing the citadel with new, stronger works of stone and brick. Spinola, however, had no money for such constructions, and Gaffori objected to any use of civilians as forced labor, citing Spinola’s promises to not put the populace at the whims of the garrison. Andergossen was forced to abandon this plan, and suggested instead that the fortifications be made with earthworks and fascine. Medoni, however, found that the ground was too rocky to accomplish this.

Although the ex-rebels being armed and agitated by Drost and the exiles in the Dila were concerning, Andergossen’s more immediate concern was with the Niolesi. The Niolo had been one of the first districts evacuated by the French, and since it was a thinly-populated region of little economic value Spinola had excluded it from his plans of occupation. The chief beneficiary of this withdrawal was Lieutenant-General Rauschenburg. He had waged a gruelling guerrilla campaign for months, sometimes with fewer than twenty men at his side, but now it seemed that he had finally outlasted his enemies. Following the French withdrawal from the Niolo, Rauschenburg retired to the mountains with the remainder of his grizzled veterans, where he was welcomed by many Niolesi as a hero. Not all were happy to see him - French rule in the Niolo had been relatively harsh because of its status as the last district in the north to defy them, and there were fears that a warm welcome given to the unrepentant rebel general would invite Genoese retaliation. Although informed of Rauschenburg’s presence, Spinola lacked the men to root him out, and sending Franceschi’s irregular squadron into the heart of the Niolo seemed unlikely to end well.

Throughout October there were whispers of conspiracies and rebellion everywhere. Genoese officers spoke of rebel forces amassing in the mountains, of gunsmiths in Orezza producing stockpiles of arms, and of muskets and powder flowing into Livorno waiting to be transported to the island. A Genoese captain reported to Spinola that he had heard rumors that Gaffori, really a crypto-revolutionary, had at least 1,200 partisans in the mountains waiting to descend on the garrison of Corti. Another report alleged that a priest in the Balagna, Giovanni Battista Croce di Lavatoggio, was telling his parishioners in his sermons that if the Bourbons won the ongoing war on the continent, Corsica would be given to Don Felipe, the Spanish infante. Spinola could not meet these rumored threats with either men or money, for he had none to spare, so he did the next best thing and sent muskets and ammunition to the commanders of the Castagniccian garrisons, telling them to arm the filogenovesi if matters got out of hand.

[1] It is notable that not one of these colonels was Genoese, nor even Italian. While the Genoese battalions were “national” in the ranks, officers could be from anywhere, and the Genoese had difficulty finding capable officers from their own country. Naturally, Andergossen was German and Jost was Grison, as befitted their battalions. Of the colonels of Italian battalions on Corsica, however, Crettler was Swiss and the other two were Irishmen: “Patrizio Geraldini” was Patrick Fitzgerald and “Gio Tomasso Varenne” was John Thomas Warren. Only with the arrival of another battalion under Colonel Restori in late 1741 was this all-foreign lineup disrupted.
[2] De Franceschi is chiefly notable for having commanded the infamous "Company of Bandits," formed of criminals and bandits from Liguria, who were unleashed upon the Nebbio in the early years of Theodore's reign. He was reviled by many of the Corsicans but seemed to have had a knack for leading irregular forces.
[3] Given the enormous costs of the rebellion and its apparent insolubility from a political and military standpoint, the reader would not be unreasonable to wonder why Genoa persisted in trying to keep Corsica. Although allowing Corsican independence had never been considered by the Senate, the idea of selling the island to another power had been floated a few times since about 1732, only to be firmly rejected every time. Some have ascribed the government’s stubbornness to a vain refusal to abandon Genoa’s delusion of imperial grandeur, Corsica being the last remnant of a Genoese medieval thalassocracy that once stretched as far as the Crimea. There is a kernel of truth in this, but the dominant reason was more strategic than nostalgic. Although the Genoese were by the 18th century more famous for banking than trade, maritime commerce still dominated the economy of the city. That commerce depended on a friendly Corsica, as the island was ideally positioned to control maritime shipping coming to and from the port of Genoa. “Who is master of Corsica is master of Genoa,” wrote a Spanish ambassador in the 16th century, and the Genoese had never ceased to agree. Even if an “ally” of Genoa took possession of the island, such as Spain, the Genoese feared the republic would be reduced to little more than a puppet, captive to the whims of Corsica’s master.

Timeline Notes
[A] For some reason Andergossen is the only colonel whose given name I cannot find. I've decided to call him Frederick. That's a good name for a German, right?
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What's preventing Rauschenberg or d'Ornano from gathering up a couple guys (seems like all it might take) and seizing Corti including its central position and its precious arsenal? Demoralization aside it seems like they'd be better armed than the Genoans, who certainly could not venture that deep into the island - plus such a move (along with returning heroes and good news from the King) might kickstart this thing back up rather quickly

The update I just posted does address this somewhat, but I thought two other things were worth mentioning.

First, there's no rebellion yet (except Rauschenburg's private war). The island is pacified, and while parts of it are effectively independent of Genoese control, there's a certain reluctance to immediately go back to war. After all, the last rebellion ended poorly; the French and Austrians are a bit busy right now, but nobody knows how long the war is going to last. Perhaps the French will be back next year with another 10,000 men, and then anyone who decided to rebel in late 1741 is going to be up shit creek without a paddle. At the moment, virtually all the ex-rebels have amnesty and Genoese rule hasn't yet demonstrated itself to be intolerably harsh. Of course there are some die-hard rebels that want independence regardless of what the Genoese do, and we'll be hearing from them soon. They're a minority, however, and even they don't want to jump the gun.

This is especially true of d'Ornano, who benefits from the ambiguity of his position and wants to keep his options open after getting burned by Franz Stefan. Launching a major attack on a Genoese garrison would presumably foreclose any possibility of making nice with them, which historically is exactly what d'Ornano eventually did - he bailed on the rebels and the Genoese made him a colonel. Rauschenburg might do it, but Rauschenburg doesn't have the men, and even if he did he's arguably a lot safer in the Niolo than behind the walls of Corti, where he could easily be besieged and trapped by a much larger force. Holding fortresses is a bit contrary to his strategy thus far, which has been one of raiding rather than conquest.

Second, the Dila and the Diqua are almost separate countries. The difference is not just geographical - although that's a big part of it - but cultural, political, even (to an extent) linguistic. D'Ornano is a powrful man south of the mountains, but in the Diqua he's irrelevant. While he could in theory march over the passes and go to Corti, he'd be a long way from his base of power, and his "army" consists of men who owe loyalty to him because they are part of a "clan" network of family and patronage ties. They're not regular forces. They'll defend their own homes, their districts, and even d'Ornano if he calls for it, but his ability to field an "expeditionary force" on the other side of the mountains is very limited, to say nothing of his ability to hold a place like Corti once he gets it. He's got no logistical system, no quartermasters or dedicated mule-drivers to supply a fortress across the mountains from his home territory like that. He might raid outside his territory, but conquest is a bit beyond him.

How much in debt is genoa?

I have tried to find good figures on this, but so far to no avail. I know how much the rebellion cost Genoa (see the update), but not how much of that was debt by 1741. I do know, however, that there was debt problem, which became a debt crisis a few years later when Genoa entered the WoAS and suddenly found it impossible to get loans anymore. They literally could not find the money to pay the war indemnity that Austria saddled them with.
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It really sounds like an almost tribal society, despite not being that far behind in technology compared to the continent.

At that point start printing notes/devaluing coinage?

Printed money only works when the people accepting these banknotes believe in the value the state ascribes to them, generally by backing the paper money with something of real value, or are absolutely die-hard patriots. Genoa has too few of the latter and would have a hard time coming up with a way to provide the former, in my eyes at least.
At that point start printing notes/devaluing coinage?

"So who's going to be the one to tell the Austrian general, whose troops are at this moment occupying the city, that we, the Genoese Senate, have decided to pay off our state's war indemnity - the only thing that is keeping the Austrians from letting the Sardinians run wild on us - in copper coins and Monopoly money?"

"Any volunteers? Nobody?" :(

It really sounds like an almost tribal society, despite not being that far behind in technology compared to the continent.

Well, "tribal" need not mean "technologically backwards" - it's a mode of social organization, and with some caveats Corsica fits that term fairly well. Dorothy Carrington, the prominent British scholar on Corsica, wrote that "alone among the peoples of Europe the Corsicans avoided feudal and capitalist oppression." The Genoese had some hand in this; they suppressed the native nobility, considering them a potential threat to Genoese rule, and as a result very little separates the nobility from the commoners aside from some prestige. Carrington argued that Corsican "democracy" was thus inadvertently caused by the Genoese; while you can trace the origins of village self-government to the Terra di Commune of the 11th century, long before the Genoese arrived, once the Genoese did arrive they stunted the growth of feudalism and destroyed the feudal power-centers that might rival them.

The result was a society that was materially quite poor, but also very level. "Rich" Corsicans are pretty unimpressive compared to rich people on the continent. Consider Decio Ciavaldini, a member of Theodore's Diet and Controller-General of the army under Gaffori, who was regarded as a very wealthy man - not because he had grand estates and serfs, but because his family owned an ironworks in Alesani. Tell a French marquis that you are a member of society's elite because "my family owns an ironworks" and you'll get laughed right out of his palatial mansion (actually he'd never let you in the front door in the first place, you dirty bourgeois). You can tell Gaffori is a man of wealth and power because his house has more than one story.

One expression of this level clan society is in how Corsicans married. Elsewhere in Europe, wealth and land were the primary means of evaluating a spouse. How big will the dowry be? How much land does the husband have? In Corsica, however, nobody had a huge amount of land, nor vast quantities of wealth, and dowries were frequently small or nonexistent. Instead, the main consideration for marriage was: How many male kinsmen does he/she have? Remember the Corsican proverb I posted some chapters back, "Kinsmen are teeth" - the strength of a clan is calculated very simply by the number of men it can turn out to fight. If your daughter marries a guy with 50 brothers, uncles, and (male) cousins, that's 50 armed men you can call upon if someone wrongs your family and starts a vendetta, and the very fact that you have an additional 50 armed men to call upon will make people think twice about wronging your family and starting a vendetta in the first place. Who cares whether a man's plot of land is marginally bigger than average if he's only got half a dozen male relatives?

It's worth noting that Corsican society was somewhat less level in the Dila than it was in the Diqua, which is a legacy of the Early Middle Ages - the north was the Terra di Commune, populated by leagues of independent villages, while the south was the Terra di Signori, controlled by counts with varying degrees of power. D'Ornano claims to trace his lineage not only to Sampiero but to the Counts of Cinarca, southern lords who were the most powerful men on Corsica in the Early Middle Ages and at one point aspired to rule the whole island. The Genoese oppressed the nobles in the south, too, but nobility still has more power, influence, and respect there than in the north, which is why there's no d'Ornano equivalent in the Diqua.

D'Ornano does have more land than most - and like Gaffori, his house has more than one story - but his power is still mainly of the familial and traditionalist variety. He's powerful because he's got a big clan that's allied to a lot of other clans, and because he's got the traditional authority that springs from his lineage ("Sampiero is my ancestor!") and the various legitimating titles he's acquired for himself (Marquis, Lieutenant-General of the Dila, Regent of Corsica, Colonel of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, etc.). His power extends beyond Ornano itself because of marriage links, because he's got the largest, best-armed group of clansmen in the south, and because he has the ability to dispense patronage in terms of guns, powder, and (until recently) Franz Stefan's money. The reason he was always so anxious for Theodore to support him with arms and money is not just military need, but because patronage supports his authority: "Look, I have a connection to the king, I'm his ally/client, look at the patronage I get from him. Does your clan ally give you artillery? I didn't think so."

D'Ornano's perspective on kingship is almost tribal in that sense: the king derives his legitimacy and authority from his ability to dispense patronage. The Genoese were bad kings; they antagonized d'Ornano and gave him nothing, so he repudiated their kingship by rising in rebellion. Theodore was a good king; he gave d'Ornano guns, ammunition, and money. But then Theodore fled the country, so d'Ornano turned eventually to Franz Stefan, who was a very good king, at least until the war started and the patronage dried up. Now d'Ornano is once more without a king and without patronage. He knows Theodore is still out there, and his oaths to Theodore aren't meaningless to him; we know, for instance, that IOTL Luca d'Ornano subscribed a declaration in Theodore's favor in 1744, years after his "reign." But d'Ornano's loyalty is not limitless, and his continued allegiance to the cause is dependent upon whether Theodore can be a Good King again and deliver the goods (literally). Until then, he's reluctant to break permanently with the Genoese, who were bad kings in the past but are now offering him the prospect of patronage.
... and when the Austrians disband the Senate and move a Governor-General into the Doge's palace, the Empire has to pay off their debts! Clearly I am a genius without flaw. ;)
The Austrians are not unreasonable. I'm sure there's lots of nice things in Genoa they can take along with them for safe keeping when they leave. Genoa, assuming it still exists, may choose to discuss the legal ownership of such nice things vis-a-vis the debt at a later date.
@Carp If Corsica is so strategically important to Genoa, than does that mean an independant Corsica would have influence over Genoa?
An actually independent Corsica would have no power to do anything beyond its shorelines, and would even have trouble doing something on its own territory. But, if it gives a naval base to Britain or France... and even that would still be okay, but, if Genoa were to suddenly find itself on the opposite side of a war to France or Britain and France or Britain has a naval base on Corsica...

Basically, it's about that things potentially can get very, very bad for Genoa if they don't retain control about Corsica. That doesn't mean they have to, and it surely doesn't mean Corsica itself would profit from that.
An actually independent Corsica would have no power to do anything beyond its shorelines, and would even have trouble doing something on its own territory. But, if it gives a naval base to Britain or France... and even that would still be okay, but, if Genoa were to suddenly find itself on the opposite side of a war to France or Britain and France or Britain has a naval base on Corsica...

Basically, it's about that things potentially can get very, very bad for Genoa if they don't retain control about Corsica. That doesn't mean they have to, and it surely doesn't mean Corsica itself would profit from that.

To sum it up... Corsica only pawn in game of life.
... and when the Austrians disband the Senate and move a Governor-General into the Doge's palace, the Empire has to pay off their debts! Clearly I am a genius without flaw. ;)

You jest, but the Austrians did actually threaten the Genoese with annexation if they didn't pay up. Had the Genoese uprising failed, or not happened at all, it's not impossible that the Austrians would have taken chunks out of the Republic - definitely Finale, possibly Corsica - to settle the bill. I'm sure Emperor Franz Stefan would have supported peeling off Corsica.

To put some numbers on this, the Austrians imposed an indemnity of 4 million scudi, which did not include the upkeep of the Austrian garrison - 7,000 men - which the Genoese were also required to pay. At the time, the gross annual revenue of the state was about 2 million scudi.

I did a little digging on money, and it seems like the rate between the scudo and the lira was more or less 1:8 at this time. This suggests that the cost of the Corsican war up to 1741 (20 million lire) was equivalent to 2.5 million scudi. If we assume that the Genoese state revenue held steady at about 2 million scudi through this period, then a cost of 2.5 million scudi represents approximately 12.5% of all state revenue collected over ten years. In other words, what the Austrians wanted as a war indemnity was 60% more than Genoa had spent on the Corsican War over the course of a decade - which, to reiterate, does not include the money they were supposed to pay for the upkeep of the Austrian garrison.

This literally broke the bank. The Bank of St. George had to suspend payments on securities and deposits.

An actually independent Corsica would have no power to do anything beyond its shorelines, and would even have trouble doing something on its own territory. But, if it gives a naval base to Britain or France... and even that would still be okay, but, if Genoa were to suddenly find itself on the opposite side of a war to France or Britain and France or Britain has a naval base on Corsica...

Notably, in 1756, at the beginning of the Seven Years' War and just after the fall of Minorca to the French, the Duke of Newcastle proposed occupying Corsica and using it as a base for privateers against France. This was prevented by the French themselves, who with Genoa's permission landed troops at Ajaccio, Calvi, and San Fiorenzo and kept them there until the spring of 1759. Genoa was not a belligerent, but the British had a rather expansive notion of contraband in time of war, and I'm sure that Genoa would have suffered for it. Certainly Britain would have had extraordinary leverage over them.


A Corsican "stilettu," 19th century

In the evening of the 23rd of October, a certain Ottaviani entered the governor’s house at Corti and snuck into the room of Colonel Federico Andergossen. It may be that he had permission to be in the house and had no need to evade the guard detail. According to the Genoese report, Ottaviani came up behind the colonel as he was writing at his desk and pulled out a stiletto. Andergossen was apparently not taken entirely by surprise, as he clearly struggled with his assailant and was able to call out to his guards, but Ottaviani managed to stab him several times before fleeing the scene. This assassination attempt was evidently planned in concert with an attack on Corti itself by at least 200 rebels, allegedly with assistance from some of the locals. Initially this attack met with success; the garrison was surprised and leaderless, and no serious progress had been made on Andergossen’s proposed new fortifications. In the darkness, it was even reported by some that the Grison mercenaries opened fire on their Ligurian allies, mistaking them for Corsicans. In the end, however, the Genoese managed to rally, and with around 500 men they handily outnumbered their attackers. After an hour-long firefight, the rebels retreated.[A]

The Genoese garrison suffered 33 dead and wounded, among them Colonel Andergossen, whose wounds proved to be mortal. He died on the following day. His death was avenged, as the assassin Ottaviani was shot and killed during the attack, presumably by the colonel’s guards; nevertheless, the colonel’s loss was unwelcome news for commissioner-general Domenico Maria Spinola, who knew that the Genoese officer corps did not exactly have a deep bench of experienced battalion commanders. There were also those who blamed Spinola personally for the failure, as in the previous week he had sent 200 men of the Calvi detachment from Corti back to the Balagna in response to the plea of Commissioner Giuseppe Maria Mambilla, who was alarmed by the return of several notorious rebels to the Balagna, including Brigadier Giovanni Tommaso Giuliani di Muro, who were said to be stirring up trouble.

Genoese suspicion quickly fell on Gaffori for this appalling attack. He had conveniently absented himself from Corti two days prior, telling Andergossen that he and his wife Faustina Matra were on their way to visit their in-laws in Serra, and the assassin Ottaviani was a known associate and client of Gaffori's. Now he was nowhere to be found, and he was certainly not at Serra; rumor had it that he subsequently went to Ampugnano, where a meeting of rebel sympathizers in the Castagniccia was to be held. Major Domenico de Franceschi requested more men so he could “scour” Ampugnano, so as to confiscate weapons and arrest plotters, but his request could not be immediately fulfilled as Spinola’s first concern was to reinforce Corti lest another attack be launched against the garrison in their weakened state. Exasperated by the scarcity of his forces in the north, Spinola sent word to Bernardo Soprani, the commissioner of Ajaccio, ordering him to immediately dispatch 320 men, including the 200-strong Greek militia company under Major Micaglia Stefanopoli de Comnene,[1] to Corti.

Soprani was deeply unhappy with this command. He had already launched a protest against Spinola’s plan because it left too few troops in the south; now Spinola was depriving him of 320 of his only 800 or so reliable soldiers in the whole province (that is, the regulars and the Greeks). He could not refuse, of course, but the order presented another problem: Moving these men to Corti would require marching over the mountains and directly through the territory of Marquis Luca d’Ornano, the self-appointed Regent of Corsica. D’Ornano’s position was still somewhat in doubt - he continued to describe himself as a Tuscan officer and the Regent of Corsica (presumably for Theodore), but he had made no moves against the Genoese after the French withdrawal from Ajaccio and had been responding favorably - if vaguely - to Genoese diplomatic approaches. Still, Soprani did not want to give him advance warning, and thus the Regent learned of it only when the column entered “his” land.

D’Ornano did not care much about Corti and still less about Gaffori. He undoubtedly considered the attack on Corti premature, for while he still professed loyalty to the national cause he was not yet willing to fight the Genoese until it was clear that there was a force capable of challenging them. The Genoese advance upset him, however, not so much because he begrudged them marching through the upper Gravona valley, which was peripheral to his control anyway, but because it sent a message that he could be dictated to and trespassed upon with no consultation by the Genoese. He had no intention of attacking, but he mustered his men and issued a declaration demanding that the people of the Gravona be unmolested. Then he sent a messenger to Matthias von Drost, then at Zicavo, who might have entertained the notion of cutting off the Genoese at the pass of Vizzavona but who did not act swiftly enough to do so. With the addition of these new forces, Corti was clearly too formidable for the rebels to make another attempt at. The northern rebels, however, were not yet willing to throw in the towel.

One of the basic functions of the Genoese government on Corsica - or indeed any government - was the administration of justice. The civilian administration of the island, however, had been hollowed out by the rebellion. Of the six administrative “lieutenancies” of the island which had once handled such matters, five were vacant and had been for years. Given the hostility to Genoese officials in the countryside, the re-establishment of such an infrastructure was not contemplated. Judicial authority thus devolved to the colonels. They did not enjoy it; prior to his death, Andergossen complained in a letter to Spinola that all his time was taken up by petitioners. More serious, however, was that in their paranoia the Genoese government had ceased to be able to discern criminality from rebellion. When the houses of two filogenovesi militiamen were burned down in Fiumorbo, it was justifiably seen as a political attack against the Republic’s adherents, and a company was dispatched from Bastia to hunt down the arsonists and “inculcate the fear of justice.” In Corsica, however, murders happened all the time, and even when they targeted known filogenovesi they did not necessarily have anything to do with rebellion; the ribelli-filogenovesi divide often overlaid, or was used as an excuse for, pre-existing clan rivalries and vendettas. Fearing rebel ambushes, the Genoese made large detachments for these “judicial expeditions” which bordered on the absurd; in October, Major Giovanni Kinich (of Jost’s battalion) marched to Santa Lucia with 200 men (!) because of a single murder. Sometimes these expeditions used a murder or arson merely as an excuse to effect the disarmament of an area, but regardless the impression of the Corsicans was of heavy-handed military rule in which a vendetta killing was responded to by the deployment of hundreds of soldiers and the collective punishment of communities by confiscations of arms and interrogations of villagers. Such expeditions also exhausted the soldiers, weakened the garrisons, exasperated the officers, and led to desertion.

Some “rebel activity,” however, was indisputably not mere criminality. In October, two Bastian “dragoons” - not regular army soldiers, but Genoese militia horsemen who served the Republic as couriers and gendarmes - were found murdered near Furiani, just a short distance from Bastia itself. The murderers were never caught, but the slayings may have been the early work of Giovanni Tomaso Franzini, who in the autumn of 1741 was making a name for himself as the top guerrilla in the Castagniccia. Initially his efforts were focused on Bastia, and he was one of the key plotters in a bizarre attempt in October to infiltrate men into Bastia and abduct (or kill) Commissioner-General Spinola himself. The rebels did manage to get several dozen men into the city, but word of the plot got out somehow and several were caught and hanged. Franzini had aimed a little too high, and for his next act he attempted something a little more manageable.

A key weakness of Spinola’s plan was that the Corti garrison, though strong (particularly after its reinforcement from Ajaccio), relied upon a single overland supply route. Spinola’s garrison posts in the Castagniccia were largely positioned on that route, but in the spaces between them these convoys of food, ammunition, and money were vulnerable to attack. The first such assault was made in mid-October near Loreto by a certain Pasqualino di Rostino, who had but a few men with him and succeeded only in killing a single Genoese soldier.

Franzini, had more success, for on November 5th his band of 50 or 60 men ambushed a supply convoy near Omessa. Four Genoese soldiers were killed, and the rest driven off long enough for Franzini to make off with some of the supplies, including sacks of flour and a chest with 2,000 lire intended for the payment of salaries to the Corti garrison. Spinola ordered that the goods be recovered, and ordered Major Franceschi and his anti-guerrilla squadron to hunt down Franzini, as Franceschi still had not been granted the men he needed to launch his punitive expedition into Ampugnano. Franzini’s actions also caught the attention of Lieutenant-General Johann Friedrich von Neuhoff zu Rauschenburg, who saw a kindred spirit and knew a thing or two about evading Franceschi. The success of Franzini’s raid had already brought in new recruits, some no doubt attracted by the prospect of breaking open more Genoese treasure chests, and now Rauschenburg offered to join forces. Together, they began planning a new, more ambitious attack.

Spinola’s response was to boost the number of men escorting supply convoys, but he simply had too many commitments. He could not boost Corti’s garrison, supply Franceschi with the “expeditionary” forces he demanded, and keep the supply convoys strongly protected, while still maintaining his string of garrisons between Bastia and Corti. It did not help that his subordinates and allies often deliberately fed him false information about the nature of the threats he faced. The worst offenders were the filogenovesi and their captains (frequently local clan leaders), who knew very well that the Genoese would give them guns if the situation became dire and thus made every attempt to make it appear as dire as possible. Spinola was deluged with reports from prominent loyalists raising a cry some new raid or ambush or assassination being planned in their district, or claims that Gaffori, Drost, or Rauschenburg had been seen nearby and had a thousand men ready to march, and so on. But Spinola’s own regular officers were not immune from exaggeration either; that was, after all, how Mambilla convinced Spinola to give him back his men. Every commissioner wanted as many men as possible in his own province, while every colonel and garrison commander deemed their own forces insufficient (which they often were) and reported rumors as verified facts to make sure that Spinola knew just how bad things were. A commander who didn’t exaggerate the threat risked having his garrison diminished in order to reinforce the next commander over who ranted that the sky was falling. There was, in fact, no general uprising, but Spinola’s correspondence makes it sound as if the whole Corsican nation had turned against them.

One of Spinola’s key positions on the Bastia-Corti road was Morosaglia, where a garrison of 130 Genoese soldiers had taken up a position at the convent. A small group of monks were still in residence, however, and at least two of them were rebel sympathizers who had passed information to Franzini about the number and disposition of the garrison and their patrol routes. In the pre-dawn light of November 24th, a group of around 150 rebels under Rauschenburg, Franzini, and Giovanni Cosimo Bernardi of Ortiporio, another local guerrilla, quietly approached the convent. They managed to evade the sentries by opening a hole in the fence around the convent grounds, and then entered the building itself through a window which was opened for them from within by two monks. The garrison was taken completely by surprise; some, allegedly, were killed in their beds. A desperate and confused battle began at dawn, with men shooting at each other from across the courtyard and fighting hand to hand within the convent itself. Some Genoese soldiers were seen jumping out second story windows to try and escape. The garrison commander, Captain Lorenzo Crettler (the younger brother of Colonel Crettler), attempted to organize a defense but was wounded by a musket-ball. Some Genose in the courtyard, believing the convent had already fallen, fled early in the battle; at least a dozen took the opportunity to desert and never came back. Impressively, despite his wound Captain Crettler and what was left of his force managed to withdraw in something that resembled good order. Rauschenburg recorded 24 Genoese killed and 15 captured (most of them wounded); together with the deserters and the wounded who managed to withdraw, the garrison’s casualty rate was more than 50%.[B]


The Convent of Morosaglia

Although the attack on Corti was more sensational because of Andergossen’s assassination, the capture of Morosaglia was much more serious from a military perspective. Rauschenburg, Franzini, and Bernardi had cut Corti’s lifeline to Bastia, interrupting the flow of food, money, and communication. It was essential that Morosaglia be recaptured, whatever the cost, for the alternative was either for the Corti garrison to starve or abandon their position. Spinola ordered Colonel Pietro Paolo Crettler to assemble a force at once and take back the convent. By the 29th, he had amassed about 300 regulars, four 8-pounder guns, and an irregular company of at least a hundred men under the reliable filogenovesi captain Filippo Grimaldi at Loreto. Expecting an imminent attack, Rauschenburg sent men into the Castagniccia to disseminate a declaration calling for a general uprising. Rauschenburg denounced the Genoese reforms as nothing more than sweet words to make slavery less bitter, and as “Lieutenant-General of the King’s Armies” exhorted the “patriots” of the Castagniccia to rise to the defense of their homeland. The response, however, was less enthusiastic than hoped for, and by the time of Crettler’s arrival he had scarcely 200 men to defend Morosaglia.

Colonel Crettler besieged the convent on December 2nd and ordered a bombardment in lieu of a direct assault, hoping to dislodge the rebels with artillery alone. This got off to an inauspicious start when, on its second shot, one of the guns exploded, killing one gunner and maiming another. The other three guns fared better, but their effect upon the entrenched militia was limited. Given the religiosity of the Corsicans and, perhaps more importantly, the importance of the structure to the garrison, Crettler was reluctant to blast the convent itself full of holes despite the treachery of its monastic community. After four hours of bombardment, Crettler ordered an attack, only to be held back by fierce resistance from the dug-in defenders. Cannonades and musketry continued until the approach of dusk.

Although their defense had thus far been a success and Franzini wanted to hold, Rauschenburg urged a withdrawal. The general revolt he had attempted to provoke was clearly not happening, or at least not swiftly enough to help. The Genoese outnumbered them two to one, and more reinforcements were undoubtedly on the way. If a column arrived from Corti, where there were by now at least 700 or 800 Genoese and Greek soldiers, they could easily be cut off and completely annihilated. Grimaldi’s irregulars had tried several times to work around their flanks at Morosaglia, and were only held off with difficulty. As he could hardly continue the defense without Rauschenburg's men, Franzini gave in. The rebels loaded themselves up with all the captured arms and supplies they could carry, and anything that could not be taken away was despoiled: Bags of flour were ripped open and dumped in the mud, the hastily-erected bread ovens were smashed, and a few unburied Genoese bodies were thrown in the well. Then, along with several monks who feared retribution, they vanished into the night.

The events of October and November 1741 demonstrated some hard truths to the rebels. Despite achieving some remarkable feats, they proved unable to permanently dislodge the Genoese from any of their positions. Even taking the raids on Corti and Morosaglia together, the rebels in the interior had fielded fewer than 500 armed men in total. They had no effective support from leaders in the Dila like d’Ornano and Drost, and the hopes of Rauschenburg, Franzini, and (probably) Gaffori that their bold actions would prompt a mass uprising proved premature. They had demonstrated that the rebellion was still alive and still dangerous, but not that it had broad popular support or that it could actually win a war against the Genoese and their mercenaries.

But there were enough hard truths to go around. The episodes starkly illustrated the illusory quality of Genoese security in the interior. Spinola's forces were too few to offer robust protection to all his garrisons and all his convoys at once, and he was forced to curtail expeditions of justice and reprisal into “hostile” territory on account of insufficient men and incredibly poor logistics. Corti, which had seemed like such a critical strong point, was starting to look more like a liability given the enormous efforts required to keep the Bastia-Corti supply route open. There was always a bread crisis, and the troops’ wages fell ever deeper into arrears. By February the government’s outstanding debt to its soldiers on Corsica exceeded 70,000 lire, and the Corti garrison in particular appears to have gone unpaid for the entire winter. Unsurprisingly, desertion remained a serious problem, and since it was much easier to desert when soldiers were “in the field” this put further constraints on anti-guerrilla activities in the countryside. To boost his manpower, Spinola distributed weapons to the filogenovesi by the hundreds, but while some of these companies offered good service most could not be adequately controlled. The nature of existing clan animosities and vendettas meant that arming one pro-Genoese clan inevitably pushed their traditional rivals towards the rebel camp. The best illustration of this was in the Nebbio, where the Genoese authorized Lorenzo Luigi Piana of San Pietro to form a company of micheletti,[2] only for his rival Simone Ginestra to denounce Piana as a vittolu (a traitor to the nation) and start consorting with the returned exiles. Banditry and murder steadily escalated, and the scheme led to a gradual breakdown of peace and order.

Spinola was by all accounts a skilled diplomat and a capable administrator. Unlike his predecessor de Mari, he understood that overwhelming brutality was not the answer to every problem, and that real concessions had to be made to keep the peace. He sometimes went too far in that direction: In his efforts to demonstrate mildness and mercy he was if anything too forgiving, and many small-time bandits and rebels found that they could attack Genoese convoys or posts, surrender themselves in exchange for clemency, and then return to banditry when the next opportunity came along. Even when Spinola stiffened his policy on forgiveness and made exile a condition of clemency for some rebels, many of those who were put on a boat to Livorno were back on the island within a few days. Spinola’s biggest flaw, however, was one he shared with all Genoese commissioner-generals in Corsica: He was a civilian functionary with no military experience whatsoever. He had been Doge of Genoa and had served in many positions of importance and responsibility in the Genoese government and diplomatic corps over his long life, but he had never commanded troops nor spent more than a passing moment thinking about military strategy, tactics, training, or logistics. He approached his duties with remarkable vigor and alacrity - particularly for being 75 years old at the time - but he was incompetent in the strict sense of the word: He simply lacked the requisite skills for the task before him. In fairness, it would have been a difficult task even for a seasoned campaigner; the Senate was simply asking too much and providing too little. What they really needed was a miracle-worker, and Domenico Spinola was not that man.

[1] The Greek community in Corsica was made up almost entirely of members of the Maniot clan of Stephanopoulos, Italianized as “Stefanopoli.” Curiously, and without any evidence to support it, the Stefanopoli clan leaders of the mid-18th century claimed to be descended from the Byzantine imperial house of the Komnenoi and thus often added “de Comnene” to their surnames.
[2] "Miquelets," Micheletti (Italian), or Migueletes (Spanish) were originally 17th century Catalan irregular troops who were particularly adept at skirmishing and guerrilla warfare in mountainous northeastern Spain. The French later adapted the term to describe irregular infantry forces raised in Roussillon and other Pyrenees regions (one company of which served in Corsica under Boussieux and Lautrec), and it was more broadly used to refer to any irregular, mountain-oriented light infantry. The Genoese used the term to describe any "official" filogenovesi company - that is, Corsican militia bands which, though not part of the regular army, had been authorized by the commissioner-general and were at least nominally on the government's payroll.

Timeline Notes
[A] An attack on Corti and on Andergossen personally was allegedly planned, but not executed OTL.
[B] A very similar attack happened around this time IOTL, but it was not as successful. The rebels managed to enter the monastery but the attack bogged down, and the rebels retreated after a half-hour firefight. ITTL, the fact that Rauschenburg is still around with his gang contributes to the venture's success. IOTL, the monks who had aided the rebels were shot by the Genoese, who then threw their corpses out the window; the commander quipped that those who entered through the window should not leave by the door.
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